Meat rabbits - week 2-3.
It is impossible to not see how cute they are.
I also think baby chicks are cute.
I don't let it deter me from thinking of rabbits and chickens as dinner, though. Mustn't let the cute get in the way of sustenance. In the rabbit meat field, I've heard this explained as the "Easter Bunny Syndrome" - i.e. these animals are too cute to eat and society has completely identified with them as pets, not food. I totally get where that comes from, I understand that. I guess it's just all about orientation. How much we are used to a certain type of animal (or vegetable) as food, etc. Before I understood what Kohlrabi was and how to prepare it, I was almost scared of it. Dumb, I know. But still true. It's the same for anything, I guess. How comfortable we are with a certain idea, person or behavior makes us more accepting of it (or not...)
So the cute doesn't deter me, but it is one factor that makes me want to give all my animals lot's of good food and treats. I'm a firm believer in treats - for both human and animal. Life is short, let's have some treats!
This week we have been experimenting with fresh Spinach leaves and I think it's safe to say that all the rabbits just about inhale fresh spinach leaves. They also LOVE cauliflower stems and leaves. Carrots are an obvious one. Orchard grass is always welcome. Sunflower seeds and raw plain almonds have been added periodically and each rabbit seems to like the nuts quite a bit. (I also throw sunflower seeds to the chickens and they devour them!) When I check out Franny and inspect the kits in the morning and night, I usually give her a slice of apple which she looooooves. The fiber is good for her, too. My previously skittish and snappish Franny has been turned, by motherhood and a constant slew of treats from my gloved hand, into a docile and gentle lady. I'm becoming very happy with her progress. She has only tried to bite me twice and I'm convinced both those times she thought my finger was a treat. (Can't blame her...)
Here's a video of the kits at almost 3 weeks old.
I continue to worry about the older rabbit's mental states. I don't want the rabbits to become bored. Sound weird? I know. I tend to anthropomorphize my animals somewhat, so this could just be my neurotic brain screwing with me.
But being bored is not great. Take the word of a mother of a toddler - long hours of tedious boredom tend to grind after a while.
So I nestle lettuce leaves in their pens periodically. I try to keep everything as clean as possible. I give them sticks of dried hazelnut wood to chew on in their pens. I think they are doing alright.
I'm going to sign off now. The day has been so mild and the night so calm and warm that all the frogs are out, serenading their prospective mates with their sonorous chirps, blips and blurps. I hear them as I tuck the chickens and rabbits in for the night and do my nightly scan for raccoons. A block from my house is a small lake where the frogs cluster by the thousands in their au naturale version of match.com to meet, mingle and do the deed with their one lucky lady frog. My only regret on a sweet night like tonight is that we don't live directly on the lake for the chorus that erupts out of it is lovely. Absolutely Lovely.